FAQ

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Auto

Is it true that if my child is on the honor roll a credit can be given to my Auto policy?

Yes, Insurance companies offer a Good Student credit for having a “B” average or better. Please notify your agent and provide them with a copy of your child’s most recent grade report.

What is the difference between collision physical damage coverage and comprehensive physical damage coverage?

Collision is defined as losses you incur when your automobile collides with another car or object.  For example, if you hit a car in a parking lot, the damages to your car will be paid under your collision coverage.

Comprehensive provides coverage for most other direct physical damage losses you could incur, including theft.  For example, damage to your car from a hailstorm will be covered under your comprehensive coverage.

Do I really need to purchase automobile insurance if I have an older car?

Most states have insurance laws that require drivers to have at least some automobile liability insurance.  These laws were enacted to ensure that victims of automobile accidents receive compensation when their losses are caused by the actions of another individual who was negligent.

It is often the case that the cost of repairing the damages to an older car is greater than its value.  In these cases, the insurance company will usually just “total” the car and give you a check for the car’s market value less the deductible.

Homeowner

What are some practical things I can do to lower the cost of my homeowners insurance?

There are a number of things you can do to lower the cost of your homeowners insurance.  The easiest thing to do is get a comprehensive review of your policy and needs from your agent. 

In addition, look for any discounts that you my qualify for, such as receiving a group discount if you have both your homeowners and automobile insurance with the same insurance carrier. Also some carriers offer discounts if there are deadbolt exterior locks on all your doors, or if you r home has a security system.  Be sure to ask us if there are any discounts for which you may qualify. 
Another easy way to lower the cost of your homeowners insurance is to raise your deductible.  Increasing your deductible from $250 to $500 will lower your premium, sometimes by as much as five or ten percent.

Benefits

Why Do Employers Offer Group Employee Benefits?

Employers offer Group Employee Benefits to attract and retain quality employees to gain and maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace while giving employees financial security and the ability to lead more productive lives at work and at home.

Will My Group or Individual Health Insurance Cover Pre-Existing Medical Conditions even if I didn’t have prior medical coverage?

Due to the Affordable Care Act, beginning on plan years on or after January 1, 2014, pre-existing condition limitations will be eliminated for enrollees of all ages.

What Benefits are covered under routine preventive care at no cost to me, in-network?

A comprehensive list of preventive benefits listed as Code A or B can be found at: www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce/recommendations.org.

Why Should I take Dental/Vision Insurance?

Routine Preventive dental care is paid at no cost every 6 months, when using an in-network dentist. Vision coverage is a low cost benefit to help reduce the costs of services needed.

Taking advantage of dental/vision benefits could prevent the need and help with the additional charges for higher cost services in the future.

Why Should an Employer offer Group Disability Insurance?

In the event an employee becomes disabled through accident or illness and cannot work, the employer offering Short Term and Long Term Disability provides the employee and their family financial protection.

As an employer, should I be offer a Wellness Program to my employees?

Healthier employees tend to be more energetic, productive, and happier employees who represent the company in a more positive light. Offering a Wellness Program may help reduce claim costs and lower health insurance renewals. In 2014, Employers may offer a financial Wellness Incentive that will increase from 20% to 30% of the cost of the employee’s insurance premium.

Bonds

What is the difference between a surety and a fidelity bond?

A surety bond is a guarantee. What it guarantees depends on the bond type. They are required by the government and third party entities. Fidelity bonds are insurance products that protect businesses and individuals against employee dishonesty. They are generally optional to obtain.

Claims

Do I have to pay my deductible even if I’m not at fault in an accident?

Yes. Your deductible is the amount that you are required to pay in the event of a claim, regardless of fault. In the event that another party is found to be legally liable for your damages, your insurance company will attempt to recover monies paid out on your behalf, including your deductible. If your insurance company is successful in recovering this money from the other party, you may receive a refund of your deductible.

Do I need to file a police report if I am involved in a motor vehicle accident?

Yes, you generally must file a police report if you are involved in an accident that results in personal injury or damage to property. A police report can be very helpful in the event that there is a dispute over liability.

Where can I have my vehicle repaired following an accident?

You may have your repairs performed at the shop of your choice. Your insurance carrier may offer suggestions, and the adjuster may require that you present your vehicle at a preferred shop for an estimate, but you may choose where to have your repairs completed.

What information do I need to report my claim?

The information needed will depend on the type of claim you are reporting.  Typically, however, we will ask for:

  • Your contact information
  • The name and contact information of any other parties involved
  • Your policy information
  • The type of loss you are reporting (auto, home, etc.)
  • The date the incident occurred
  • A description of the loss
  • A description of the injuries
When you call Esser Hayes we don’t just report the claim, we are with you through it all and provide guidance on impact of claims and potential furture effects on premiums.

What if I don't have all the information needed to report my claim?

You should report your claim to your insurance company or Esser Hayes as soon as possible, even if you don’t have all the necessary information.  The faster you do so, the sooner everyone can begin to assist you.

What happens after I report my claim?

Shortly after reporting your loss, a claim professional from either the insurance company or Esser Hayes will call you to discuss what will happen next.  He or she will also answer any questions you have.  For auto, property and some commerical claims, a claims adjuster will need to set up a mutually agreed upon time to inspect the damage in person.   Please remember your insurance company and the Esser Hayes claim professionals will be your guide throughout the claim process.

How long will it take to settle my claim?

Every loss is different, so the length of time needed to settle a claim varies.  The time it takes to inspect the damages and investigate the claim will determine the time needed to settle your claim. 

When can I expect payment?

First, the facts of the loss will be reviewed to determine what happened and whether the loss is covered by your insurance policy.  For damaged property or vehicles, these usually require an in-person inspection.  Once your claim professional determines whether the policy covers the loss, a check based on the estimates of damages will be processed in approximately two weeks.

Life & Health

How often should I review my life insurance policy?

You should review all of your insurance needs at least once a year. If you have a major life change, please contact us to discuss the change and the possible impact on your insurance needs. Life changes may include:

  • Marriage or divorce
  • A child is born or adopted
  • Coming into an inheritance
  • Purchasing a new home
  • Significant changes in your health or that of your spouse/domestic partner

How much life insurance should an individual own?

A good rule of thumb is 6 to 8 times your annual earnings.  However, many factors should be taken into account when determining the right amount of the life insurance for you and your family. Important factors include:

  • Income sources (and amounts) other than salary/earnings.
  •  Whether or not you are married and if so what is your spouse’s earning capacity.
  • The number of individuals who are financially dependent upon you.
  • The amount of death benefits payable from Social Security and from any employer-sponsored life insurance plan.
  •  Whether any special life insurance needs exist (e.g., mortgage repayment, education fund, estate planning need, etc.
Calculating the correct amount of life insurance to buy is not as simple as it appears. Please call us so that we may assist you with all your life insurance needs and answer all your questions.

 

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